It's now got better performance and safety.
Lexus, Toyota's luxury arm, has been offering many compelling alternatives to the German sedans and SUVs that seem to dominate the luxury market. To keep up with the rest of the industry, Lexus is working on a number of exciting projects. These include a new performance-focused model and the brand's first-ever EV sold in the US. Electrification is an important part of the automaker's future, so it should come as no surprise that the Japanese luxury manufacturer has revealed its updated Lexus UX exclusively with a hybrid powertrain. If you think that's a bad thing, don't. The hybrid was always the best of the bunch.
"The new Lexus UXh aims to enhance the appeal of electrified vehicles, especially hybrid EVs, by further evolving the driving experience and advanced safety equipment in a uniquely Lexus way," said Lexus International chief engineer, Mitsuteru Emoto. "With thorough attention to detail, the Lexus team worked to develop these two key features so that customers could enjoy a sense of luxury and a comfortable, safe and secure driving experience."
But why is the US only being allowed access to the hybrid powertrain when other variants exist in other markets? Well, Lexus says that this is "to further align with the brand's work towards the realization of a carbon-neutral society."
As part of the brand's efforts to improve the drive of the Lexus UXh, structural rigidity was improved by the addition of 20 spot welding points on the body. Lexus also recalibrated the electronic power steering and shock absorbers to suit and fitted newly developed Bridgestone 18-inch run-flat tires for a quieter and smoother ride.
Lexus has also upped the ante regarding style and performance with the expansion of F Sport Design and Handling packages. Whichever you choose, you get F Sport-specific wheels, a new grille, dark roof rails and a black roof, a moonroof, and painted wheel arch moldings. You also get rain-sensing wipers and fog and cornering lamps.
Opt for the F Sport Handling package and your UX adds standard performance dampers and active variable suspension. These help absorb body flex and minor vibrations to sharpen handling and improve the overall ride comfort and noise levels. The suspension system also "maintains a flat posture and absorbs excess shock, even on road surfaces with a combination of large undulations and minor bumps," resulting in enhanced steering response, more stability, and a more comfortable ride.
Another upgrade to sharpen the steering is the addition of a brace to the steering gear. Inside, this package gives you an aluminum footrest and scuff plate. The F Sport influence is also evident in sports seats, a special steering wheel and shifter, aluminum pedals, and unique meters. Heated and ventilated front seats with memory are offered too, while a digital key, heated auto-dimming side mirrors with memory, and HomeLink.
In terms of the infotainment system, the UX250h now boasts a larger, higher-resolution touchscreen display, and the shapes and switch layout of the instrument panel and console area have been refined to make the cabin more ergonomic. The wireless charging spot also extends vertically and LED lighting has been added at the top, as has a pair of USB charging points. A new voice control system is included too, with the phrase "Hey Lexus" activating it. Alternatively, you can just press a superfluous button on the steering wheel. With dual microphones, enhanced noise cancellation, seat detection and speaker location capabilities, this system should work well. Cloud services have been expanded too, with things like a stolen vehicle locator and automatic collision notification.
Finally, Lexus has bolstered safety by improving the pre-collision system's single-lens camera and millimeter-wave radar. These now have improved response range to make avoiding other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians better, even in low light conditions. The lane keep assist system has been upgraded with AI technologies and now boasts an expanded assist range for smoother and more continuous steering assistance. Rounding out the updates is the dynamic radar cruise control system, which can now detect the size of an approaching curve to better modulate speed.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but the new Lexus UX250h will go on sale in the late summer of this year.